Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. (source: Goodreads.com)
Gef: Where did you get the inspiration for NOISE?
Brett: No idea, specifically. The story just came to me sentence by sentence, it was all very direct and simple. I wrote the whole book sitting by the bay in South Beach, surrounded by noise and wearing earplugs. For the first month or so, I didn't even realize I was writing a novel.
Gef: What was it about this book, if anything, that you approached differently from your previous titles?
Brett: I wrote this book very much free-form. No editing or notes whatsoever, and I think that process shows in the pacing and linear escalation of the story. There's a lot of freedom in not having to be true to an outline, a plot, or even a cast of characters.
Gef: How intensive does the research process for you? What little tricks have you picked up with approaching the research phase of writing?
Brett: With so much research available online, it's not an issue at all. But I do think there is a larger effect at work. Historically, one of the big selling points of fiction was the research itself, the information provided in the context of story. But that information is now readily and instantly available to everyone, and authors are slowly adapting to the fact. Saying a book is 'meticulously researched' used to be a compliment. Now it's irrelevant. You see shorter books, less dependent on lengthy descriptions, with more attention being paid to the writing, rhythm, story and pacing.
Gef: Where have you found the greatest influences towards your writing?
Brett: Strangers, mostly. Nature. But my writing is also pretty lonely, since I live my life that way. There are some writers and musicians who greatly inform my work, but they are temporary and changing all the time.
Gef: What do you consider to be the strength or saving grace of the thriller genre?
Brett: Pacing, definitely. A thriller must build, must move, towards some sort of explosion, either actual or metaphorical. That's what makes them so much fun to read and write. To me, the word 'page-turner' applies only to thrillers. When I first imagined I'd become a novelist, it was literary all the way, but that was not my path. I'm not sure you really get to choose a genre as a writer.
Gef: What's the worst piece of writing advice you ever received? Or what piece of writing advice do you wish would just go away?
Brett: To write every day. I don't think about writer's block. As a journalist, you write to the inch, a set number of words. When someone asks me to write a 500 word blog, it will be exactly 500 words. You need to have that level of control over the craft. But don't write just to avoid writers block, do that and you will learn to dislike the mechanics of writing. Write when you have something to say. Otherwise, edit, or do something else entirely. Rather than 'write every day' I'd say, 'be involved in writing every day.' Be it reading, editing, planing, or just plain daydreaming. I truly think a writer is nearly always writing.
Gef: What kind of guilty pleasures do you have when it comes to books or movies or whatnot?
Brett: Thrillers and mysteries. Action movies. I don't like when art imitates life. Modern life is exceedingly boring.
Gef: What projects are you cooking up that folks can expect in the near future?
Brett: Finishing up my next novel, Ren.